Connect with us

New England Patriots

Patriots 90-Man Roster Spotlight: Austin Hooper

Published

on

Las Vegas Raiders tight end Austin Hooper makes a catch during warmups before an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Monday, Dec. 25, 2023 in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

The New England Patriots can have up to 90 players under contract during the offseason. Patriots Football Now will profile all 90 players (though there are currently 91 on the roster) over the upcoming months. Today’s featured player is tight end Austin Hooper.

Austin Hooper

The Atlanta Falcons selected Hooper in the third round (No. 81 overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft. He enjoyed immediate success as an NFL rookie. Atlanta won the NFC before falling to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 51. Hooper had three receptions for 32 yards and a touchdown in the Super Bowl.

Hooper showed considerable improvement in his second season. He more than doubled his totals for receptions (49) and receiving yards (526). It served as a springboard to even more impressive numbers in the following years.

Austin Hooper made consecutive Pro Bowls for the Falcons in 2018 and 2019. Over those two years, Hooper amassed 146 receptions for 1,447 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. He placed in the top five among NFL tight ends in both categories over those two seasons.

Also Read – Patriots Pick Jaheim Bell at No. 231 in the 2024 NFL Draft

Hooper parlayed his success into a lucrative deal in free agency after the 2019 season. The Cleveland Browns signed Hooper to a four-year deal, with $23 million guaranteed. He played two seasons for Cleveland before stops in Tennessee, Las Vegas, and now New England.

Pro Football Focus gave Austin Hooper a 58.2 grade for his 2023 performance with the Raiders. It is the lowest grade of his NFL career. Hooper peaked in 2019 with a 78.3.

Contract Status

Austin Hooper agreed to a one-year contract with the Patriots. His 2024 cap number is $3.125 million. He has $1.21 million guaranteed.

Tight End Group

The New England Patriots have six tight ends on their 90-man offseason roster. Team captain Hunter Henry is joined by Austin Hooper, Mitchell Wilcox, La’Michael Pettway, Jaheim Bell, and Jacob Warren.

Outlook for Austin Hooper

Hooper seems to have the inside track for a spot on the 53-man roster. It certainly appeared that way when he signed with New England in March, though additions since then could make for more competition in training camp. At that point, Hunter Henry and La’Michael Pettway (who has yet to make his NFL debut) were the only tight ends under contract for 2024.

New England added three more tight ends after Hooper signed. Mitchell Wilcox was signed before the NFL Draft. The Patriots selected Jaheim Bell in the seventh round of the draft. They also signed Jacob Warren as an undrafted free agent. Aside from Henry, the competition for roster spots should be wide open.

Austin Hooper has plenty of experience, as he enters his ninth NFL season. However, Hooper is still just 29 years old. His career totals are 364 receptions, 3,702 receiving yards, and 25 touchdowns. He was signed to be an upgrade from Mike Gesicki for the Patriots in a receiving tight end role. Hooper should wind up on the Week 1 roster, though he still has something to prove in preseason to make the team.

The possibilities for Austin Hooper with the New England Patriots remain wide open. He could wind up as a surprise veteran cut at the end of camp. He could also bounce back and have a productive 2024 season in New England. Fortunately for Hooper, he gets to determine his fate by his performance.

Award-winning blogger, Dan's work has also been featured on Fox Sports, Boston Metro, Barstool Sports, MLB.com, and many other outlets.

Discover more from Patriots Football Now

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading